The Third Department, reversing Family Court, determined the court was without authority to issue a resettled order which substantially changed the original order. The original order, which was issued in the absence of testimony, provided that mother’s mental health and substance abuse problems be monitored by the Monroe County Probation Department. The Department declined because it does not handle custody matters. Family Court then issued the resettled order requiring mental health and substance abuse treatment for mother and allowing grandmother access to mother’s medical records:
“Resettlement of an order is a procedure designed solely to correct errors or omissions as to form or for clarification. It may not be used to effect a substantive change in or to amplify the prior decision of the court” ( … see CPLR 2221).
… Family Court’s resettled order does “effect a substantive change” and was beyond the court’s authority to issue. The underlying petition included serious substance abuse and mental health allegations, but at no point was any actual testimony taken. These concerns were discussed during the stipulation colloquy before Family Court (Ames, J.), but the court ultimately determined to place the mother on probation subject to standard terms and conditions that did not impose independent evaluation requirements. In addition, the court was not authorized to defer to the probation department the decision as to whether the mother should undergo a substance abuse and/or mental health evaluation … . The plain fact of the matter is that the colloquy resulting in the oral stipulation was not definitive on the evaluation issue. “To be enforceable, an open court stipulation must contain all of the material terms and evince a clear mutual accord between the parties” … . Although we are mindful of the court’s authority to require a party to undergo an evaluation, the resettled order was issued as a consent order, not as an express directive under Family Ct Act § 251. Given the absence of any record testimony, the resettled order cannot stand. Matter of Joan HH. v Maria II., 2019 NY Slip Op 05737, Third Dept 7-18-19